Qantas Airways, Australia face industrial action from ground staff, baggage handlers and engineers over pay and labour conditions.
The ground workers’ strike of October 2011 has caused inconvenience to thousands of passengers. Some flights have been cancelled while others have been delayed or brought forward. The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers association and the Transport Workers Union are the major workers’ unions battling with the airlines for better pay and working conditions. The past month saw outrages of the Qantas airlines workers through an array of full shift job walk-offs, one-hour strikes, nationwide stoppages, overtime bans and daily stop work meetings. Some threatened strikes are cancelled at the last minute, but disruption is still caused. AustraliaBargains.co.uk has warned passengers from the UK flying to Australia to keep in touch with Qantas and be prepared for delays. Whilst international flights from UK to Australia, have not been affected so far, connecting flights on the Qantas domestic network may well be delayed or cancelled.
With the travel plans and flights of 28,500 domestic and international passengers already disrupted, Qantas airways estimate that the work stoppages and industrial action will cause inconvenience to almost 55,000 passengers. International airports across the country, including Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airport, are being affected greatly by the industrial strike.
The strike initiated by the union representing Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN.AU) has been successful in gaining the support of more groups of airline workers like cabin cleaners, catering staff, ramp workers and engineers. While efforts are being made to settle the issues between the airlines and the workers, a partial breakthrough has been achieved on pay negotiations.
Qantas is trying to resolve the industrial action by holding several rounds of negotiation meetings. The positive approach has calmed down the workers’ unions and a conclusion can be expected to reach soon. However, the unions warn that several strikes will follow, if the airlines fail to identify the workers’ demands and needs. Nevertheless, all passengers to Australia are advised to stay aware of the inconvenience which the industrial strike may cause.